Swimming at Thanksgiving and Christmas while visiting her mom near El Centro, CA are Alyce Herrera's earliest memories of the desert. .
In this episode, Alyce will tell you she moved to Joshua Tree for the vegan pie and carrot cake at what was then the Ricochet Cafe in downtown Joshua Tree. The Ricochet is no longer there, but Alyce is and she's making a big impact on her community.
Alyce became a vegetarian about five years ago while running a chicken and rooster rescue on her own property. She began to feel hypocritical, not being able to slaughter her own meat for consumption. So, she attempted the slaughter and couldn't go through with it, so her partner at the time did. Once the meal has been prepared, Alyce says she took the first bite, spit it out and hasn't eaten meat since. Alyce has since become vegan, thus becoming an even more passionate animal rights advocate in the process.
She is the creator of The Vegan Guide to Joshua Tree, is starting a blog, Alyce the Vegan and is co-creating a vegan photography tour to Iceland, which will include a chef that will prepare fresh vegan meals for the participants.
Until recently Alyce played a role in organizing the local Food Not Bombs meals at the Beatnik Lounge in downtown Joshua Tree - she is moving on to take on another issue close to her heart: advocacy for homeless persons, with mentor Peggy Lee Kennedy. Buddhist meditation (6 pm) followed by vegetarian potluck (7 pm) will still be available at the Beatnik on Tuesdays.
Inspired by community residents not being their best selves on social media and original storytelling series like The Moth, StoryCorps and Ted Talks, Alyce created 'Teddy Talks' a community lecture series that happens the 3rd Saturday of every month at The Beatnik Lounge in Joshua Tree. Named for the founder of the Joshua Tree Cultural Preservation Society - base of operations the Beatnik Lounge - and long-time Joshua Tree resident Teddy Quinn, Alyce created the series as a way for people to get to know their neighbors, the diverse people that call Joshua Tree home.
Links to Alyce: